India finally allocates 1800-MHz spectrum

Dylan Bushell-Embling
29 Oct 2014
Daily News

India's Department of Telecom has finally allocated the majority of the 1800-MHz spectrum that incumbent mobile operators won in the February auction.

But the department has denied a request from two operators for more time to migrate onto the new spectrum before their licenses expire next month.

Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Idea Cellular, Uninor and newcomer Reliance Jio Infocomm have all been allocated the bulk of the 1800-MHz spectrum they acquired in the auctions, the Economic Timesreported.

But some operators contacted by the paper stated that they have yet to receive their allocation of more efficient 900-MHz spectrum.

The telecom ministry has meanwhile rejected requests from Bharti Airtel and Vodafone India to be given more time to conduct the migration onto their new spectrum.

Earlier this month, the operators put out an urgent call to be allocated the spectrum to give them time to migrate, warning that delays could result in coverage disruptions. They wanted six more months to conduct the transition.

With the request denied, ET warned that such temporary disruptions could happen over the span of months. This could affect a combined 29 million subscribers.

The regulatory heads of the two operators and Idea Cellular plan to meet with India's telecom secretary on Friday to discuss the issue.

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